The Indian pharma industry has shown a double digit growth of around 15% led by growth of Covid-19 products in the last one year as against a single digit growth of 3% shown last year, according to Indian pharmaceutical market research company Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt. Ltd.
“The Indian pharma industry would close the year 2021 with a robust double digit growth between 13% and 15%. The growth for the month of November 21 has also been around 7%, which is also an encouraging number, highlighted pharmaceutical market research company Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt. Ltd.
Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt. Ltd is an Indian pharmaceutical market research company providing market intelligence by collecting data from pharma distributors at a pan India level.
Sheetal Sapale, President, Marketing, Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt. Ltd further added that key aspects to point on the growth in pharma for the last two months is that it is primarily price driven and is a result of growth shown by majority of the molecules and not just the ones that have a role to play in Covid-19 treatment. This indirectly indicates normalization of disease patterns because of which demand for products is as per the seasonal disease patterns.”
“Some therapies like high end Anti-infectives may show relatively high growth because the surgical procedures that were postponed in pandemic times may be getting cleared with the backlog. News about the third wave may create some apprehensions, but pharma industry seems to be well prepared with the production-distribution-promotion-availability plan,” Sapale explained.
COVID therapy drugs grew 6.3% Year on Year (YoY) in November 2021 supporting overall Indian Pharmaceutical Market (IPM) growth at 6.6%. The IPM growth stood at 6.6% YoY in November 2021 v/s 5% YoY in October 2021 as compared to IPM growth of 1% YoY in November 2020, as per financial services firm Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.
“In the first half of 2021, we had a reasonable growth on account of Covid related products like remdesivir and vitamins and minerals kind of supplemental products got a boost. Doctor patient connect was less due to travel restrictions. This also led to much better hygiene practices due to adoption of Covid apt behavior. Due to which non covid acute therapy business got impacted but as the second wave started reducing, people started coming out of their homes and were exposed to the climate and seasonal changes. Due to this, covid off take reduced but non-covid off take improved considerably post second wave. We are now in the improving phase for non-covid related indications with improved marketing activities both virtually and physically,” informed Tushar Manudhane, Pharma Analyst, Institutional Equities, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.
Pharma analysts also predict revival in the export market both from volume and pricing point of view in 2022. New product launches will lead to revival and industry will grow at 10%+ growth rate in the Financial Year (FY) 2022.
“Domestic market has done well for Indian Pharma companies as against the export market. Strong domestic demand led by price hikes contributed to high double digit growth this year. New product launches and Covid-19 drugs also contributed to this demand this year,” said Ujjwal Kumar, Research Analyst, Green Portfolio.
Ujjwal Kumar added, “This year US generic companies like Alembic and Aurobindo performed poorly both in revenue and margin terms due to high competition and Covid -19 led demand slowdown. CDMO (outsourced research & manufacturing) companies should continue to do well over the longer term. Also, domestic companies with strong Indian brands will continue to do well.”
Talking about rising input costs and logistical challenges faced by the Indian pharma industry, Tushar Manudhane, Pharma Analyst, Institutional Equities, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said, “Rise in input raw material costs is also the outcome of the disruption on the supply side from China on account of pollution related curbs due to its forthcoming Winter Olympics in mid-February 2022. As this event gets over, logistics related constraints at ports are expected to ease out by March 2022.”
“While we might have a very slow and muted start in 2022, we have a good pipeline of potential products coming into commercialization subject to regulatory approvals for the US market of certain companies. Domestic formulation market growth is coming back to normalcy and with cost pressure reducing we should see a better outlook in 2022 compared to the second half of 2021,” he added.
Among the top 30 corporates, Merck (+25.7% YoY), Mankind Pharma (+24.7% YoY), Ipca Laboratories (+24.7%), AstraZeneca (+22.1%), Torrent Pharmaceuticals (+19.1%), Ajanta Pharma (+17.4%), Macleods Pharmaceuticals (+17.4%), Sun Pharmaceutical (+15.4%), Aristo Pharmaceuticals (+13.9%), Eris Lifesciences (+13.3%), Micro Labs (+12.7%), and Intas Pharmaceuticals (+11.4%) grew notably higher v/s IPM, as per sector update from Motilal Oswal.
“On sales and revenue basis, this year IPM grew by 18.2% due to lower base of last year and boost to the nutritional supplements segment and higher demand for anti-biotics and anti-viral. Pharma growth however may slow down next year as demand for Anti-virals drugs have seen significant decline and there would be normalization of growth in anti-biotics and nutritional supplements. Currently, one of the key challenges is the rise in raw material prices that industry is facing. Though there is some respite in the solvent prices and key starting materials, the situation is yet to fully normalize and will put pressure on the gross margins. The freight prices also remain volatile which would also put pressure on profitability of the pharma companies for the rest of the FY22,” according to Shrikant Akolkar, Lead Analyst, Pharma – Asian Market Securities